Hunger in the news

A daily selection of news reports from the world's media dealing with hunger and responses to it.
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Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

New Battlefield: Hackers attack Israeli and US websites

As the conflict escalates, both Palestine and Israel begin to use web tools to launch a 21 century modern web promotion battle, including hackers, YouTube Videos, Twitter and blogs. An American cyber crime analyst observes that, since Israeli military force started to attack Islamic Resistance Movement--Hamas in Gaza, hundreds of Israeli and US websites have been attacked by radical hackers. The first group of videos released by Israeli force includes a black-and-white video on Israeli airforce bombing a rocket projectile launcher inside Gaza and a color video, about World Food Programme food delivery cars accessing Gaza
CCID
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

NGOs Struggle To Deliver Aid To Gaza

Aid supply to affected populations in Gaza is severely hampered due to logistical difficulties and challenges, aid agencies said. Insecurity continues to threaten aid delivery into Gaza despite measures such as humanitarian access points and the daily three- hour ceasefire. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is grim. People are hungry, cold and lack access to electricity, heating or water, WFP spokesperson Robin Lodge said. WFP has distributed food to 96,000 people in Gaza to date.
La Depeche
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

PAKISTAN: Nightmare for Civilians Uprooted by Conflict

Since Sep. 22, an estimated 400,000 people have fled their homes in Bajaur Agency in the wake of a military operation launched by the Pakistani army against Taliban militants. Conditions in the Kacha Garhi camp are appalling; the worst affected children. Khanum's seven, between the ages of 12 and a few months, are covered with mosquito bites. "You can hear children weeping through the night," she says. The NWFP government set up 11 camps to shelter internally displaced peoples (IDPs) from Bajaur and Mohmand agencies that are part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Swat, a district in NWFP that has been riven with violence since 2006. [...] "About 51 percent of the camps' inmates suffer from acute respiratory infections and 19 percent had acute watery diarrhoea," says Dr Saeed Akbar Khan of the World Health Organisation that along with the World Food Programme (WFP) and UN children's agency, UNICEF, launched a 30 million dollars appeal to help IDPs in October. UNICEF estimates that 15 percent of children in the camps are severely malnourished. The worst affected are children from Nowshera, Lower Dir, Mardan, Charsadda, according to Dr Saeed Anwar.
Inter Press Service (IPS)
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

U.N. Warns of Refugee Crisis in Gaza Strip

Growing numbers of Palestinians are fleeing their homes for makeshift shelters in schools, office buildings and a park as the Israeli Army continues to press its military campaign deeper into Gaza City. According to the United Nations, about 30,000 people are living in schools it sponsors and an estimated 60,000 have fled to the houses of relatives. The figures still represent a small part of Gaza's 1.5 million population but have doubled in the past four days, United Nations officials said, raising concerns about the humanitarian impact of a broader war.
IRIN News
12 January 2009

UN resumes aid distribution in Gaza

The United Nations will resume aid distribution for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after receiving security assurances from Israel, the world body said in a statement late Friday. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) said in a joint statement that the United Nations had received "credible assurances that the security of UN personnel, installations and humanitarian operations would be fully respected." "On this basis, UN staff movements suspended yesterday will resume as soon as possible," the two organizations said. [...] Meanwhile, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran visited the town of Rafah on the Egyptian border with Gaza to get first-hand information on the humanitarian challenges there. She pledged to provide food aid to some 360,000 of the non-refugee population in Gaza, up from 250,000 at present. Sheeran also has sent a senior WFP team to Jerusalem to urge the Israeli authorities to grant freer humanitarian access to Gaza so that the agency can respond to the immediate food needs. "It's critical that WFP and all humanitarian workers have free and unfettered access to the people of Gaza at this difficult time," she said, adding that food supplies were waiting in warehouses to be distributed to the hungry
France 24 / AFP
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

UN rights council condemns Israeli offensive in Gaza

A divided UN Human Rights Council voted on Monday to condemn Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and set up a probe into "grave" human rights violations by Israeli forces against the Palestinians. The resolution setting up a fact-finding mission was adopted despite the lack of Western support. Thirty-three African, Asian, Arab and Latin American countries voted for the resolution. Thirteen mainly European states abstained, while Canada was the only country to vote against. The 47 member council -- frequently critical of Israel in the past -- normally seeks to adopt resolutions by consensus.
Agence France Presse (AFP)
Purchase for Progress
12 January 2009

UN WFP pays farmers $53m for food

THE World Food Programme (WFP) has began buying food directly from small-holding farmers in Uganda to boost opportunities for poverty eradication. The UN food agency said in a statement yesterday that it bought $53m worth of food locally last year for recipients in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DR Congo. The statement said the agency plans to increase the purchases to more than $100m annually in three years. The country director, Stanlake Samkange, said WFP recently started buying food through the warehouse receipt system to increase direct assistance to small-scale farmers and support the Government poverty eradication efforts. “Buying food directly from small-scale farmers, especially at high prices, helps further by improving the quality of life for the poorest people,” Samkange said in the statement.
New Vision
Responding to Emergencies
12 January 2009

WFP, Trade Ministry Partner to 'Get Food to Gaza'

As Israel and Hamas remained locked in a 16-day old Gaza war on Sunday – ignoring international calls for a ceasefire – the World Food Program (WFP) launched Operation Lifeline Gaza, a three month initiative to respond to growing hunger needs in the war-torn city. This is a global appear; and as Gandhi once said: To a hungry man, a piece of bread is a face of God. And right now, there's no more vulnerable moment to men, women, families, and individuals in Gaza than no having food," Josette Sheeran, executive director of the WFP, told a press conference in Cairo on Saturday. She announced that the WFP would begin Sunday Operation Lifeline Gaza, a global appeal to ramp up the distribution of food to people caught in the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory. The three-month operation aims to secure some 6,402 tons of foodstuffs to citizens of Gaza at an estimated budget of $20 million.
Daily News Egypt
Responding to Emergencies
11 January 2009

WFP appeals for rapid expansion of humanitarian access to gaza

"The situation in Gaza is dire with at least 80 per cent of the people needing urgent food assistance," Sheeran said at Rafah, on the Egyptian border with Gaza, where she had travelled to hear at first hand the humanitarian challenges on the ground.
U-landsnyt.dk
Food Security Analysis
11 January 2009

Yemen Under Threat From World Food Crisis

The ancient civilization that thrived in the mountain valleys of Yemen was famed for cultivating bountiful crops with a system of cisterns and aqueducts, but today the country is threatened with a major food crisis that experts fear could destabilize the poor neighbor of the Middle East's oil and banking giants. In remote villages, families are regularly skipping meals and spending over two-thirds of their income on food due to high international prices, forcing some to pull children out of school because they cannot afford it, according to a recent assessment by the World Food Program. "All they've got in some villages is bread and tea and that's all they're feeding their children," said Adam Taylor-Awni, a consultant involved in the WFP study. And noting that a majority of Yemenis live in remote rural villages, he added: "There aren't mechanisms in place to get food to people."
Associated Press (AP) International Herald Tribune

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